Because the Democrats seem to dominate the beginning of the alphabet, this is the first opportunity I’ve had to review a Republican in this on-going series. With the Democrats so far, we have seen each – Biden, Clinton, Dodd and Edwards all coming to the table with healthcare plans, some more extensive than others. Clinton, for example, runs 16 pages, Biden only a few paragraphs.
Rudy Giuliani, however, is breaking from the pack. He is running for President. But on the Issues page of his Web site, however, there is no mention of healthcare. He does list 12 issues on which he is centering his campaign. Healthcare is simply not one of them.
As I’ve mentioned before, healthcare is ranked among the top three issues among voters. In fact, if you Google Rudy by entering search terms "Giuliani Health Plan" his Web site does not appear on the first page of search terms. Why is this man smiling?
He has spoken of the oppositions’ health care plans as "socialistic" and there are indications that he would not seek universal coverage. There must be some kind of plan, Newsday has reported that it exists. But apparently, the campaign does not care to show it off. Some reporters have even reported on their frustration in writing about a plan that apparently does not exist.
I am evaluating at the plans and candidate positioning regarding five domains:
- Importation of Drugs – In a report commissioned by PhRMA from Giuliani Partners entitled Examination and Assessment of Prescription Drug Importation from Foreign Sources to the United States, the firm states that the "risks of importing drugs from outside the U.S. far outweigh any alleged benefits" according to the PhRMA press release. Presumably the candidate feels the same way.
- Medicare Part D Reform – No information.
- Pharmaceutical Marketing Restrictions - No information. However, it is notable that pharmaceutical companies are clients of Giuliani Partners, forcing one to wonder if the candidate would consider taking any stances that run counter to the interests of his clients.
- Follow-on-Biologic Regulation – No information.
- Generic Promotion – No information.
Analysis: To the extent that it does exist, the insurance part of it, gleaned from newspaper articles, not the candidate’s Web site, indicate an approach that is largely pro-business. The other factor mentioned above is that he carries pharmaceutical clients at Giuliani Partners, meaning that he either risks losing clients by staking out positions on some of these issues that run counter to industry interests, or he keeps his clients and keeps silent on issues that are important, such as healthcare. On these bases, perhaps you can draw your own conclusions about the five domains I’ve been covering here at Eye on FDA, but you will have to rely on your own instincts and not anything enunciated by the candidate.